Native Tongue (Skink Series #2)

Native Tongue (Skink Series #2)

by Carl Hiaasen

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"Rips, zips, hurtles, keeping us turning the pages at breakfinger pace." - New York Times Book Review

Who let the voles out? The precious, blue-tongued mango voles have been stolen from the Amazing Kingdom theme park on North Key Largo by ruthless thugs who have much bigger-and deadlier-things in mind. On the hunt for the rare rodents is Joe Winder, a burned-out ex-muckraking reporter who now works for the park as their PR man. Even as a scandal breaks out over the theft, Winder finds himself trailing an eco-terrorist geriatric, a certain former-governor-turned-swamp rat, and sleazy land developer Francis X. Kingsbury. Determined to uncover the true nature of the Kingdom, Winder must survive this harrowing wilderness-before the natives get to him...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538729540
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 06/26/2018
Series: Skink Series , #2
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 465,992
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Carl Hiaasen was born and raised in Florida. He is the author of nineteen novels, including Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy, Stormy Weather, Basket Case, and, for young readers, Flush and Hoot. He also writes a regular column for The Miami Herald.


Tavernier, Florida

Place of Birth:

South Florida


Emory University; B.A., University of Florida, 1974

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Native Tongue 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Almost all Hiassen's books are set in Florida, complete with those who want to destroy that environment, from the coast to the everglades, and also come complete with some of the oddest characters you'll ever find in fiction. Yet all his books are different and new. How does he do it? A remarkable imagination and writing from the heart about a place he knows and loves.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A typical family is on their way to the Amazing Kingdom in Florida when suddenly, someone in a blue pickup truck flings something out of the truck and onto the back seat of their rented Chrysler LeBaron. Thus begins the wild and crazy convergence of blue- tongued mango voles, senior citizen eco-guerillas, a burnt-out ex-reporter, two inept thieves, an ex- governor turned ecological avenger, and a former mob informant who is now one of the sleaziest and richest land developers in all of Florida. When the last two blue-tongued voles in existence are stolen from the Amazing Kingdom, Joe Winder is assigned the task of spinning the story into the standard drivel consistently served up to the media by his bosses. Joe was once an investigative reporter, and he now feels as if he has sold his soul as he fabricates the lies promulgated by the PR machine at his new job. Bud and Danny are the two thieves who stole the voles at the behest of Molly McNamara. Molly is a deceptively innocent-looking senior citizen who hired Bud and Danny to kidnap the voles. She is extremely upset when she discovers that both voles have met untimely ends before reaching her. Molly is the head of Mothers of Wilderness, a group bent on stopping the desecration of Florida's land and animal population by any means available. Francis X. Kingsbury, who owns the Amazing Kingdom, once ratted on the mob and is now living under an assumed name and identity. Francis X struck it rich by developing land in Florida in questionable deals. He then built the Amazing Kingdom - glossy and insipidly cheery on the outside, stinking like a sewer just beneath the surface. And then there is Skink, ex-governor of Florida who now lives a solitary existence in the swamplands, trying to save what little is left of Florida's undeveloped land. He saves Joe's life early on, then wreaks spectacular revenge upon Francis X and his desecration of the land in the climactic ending of the book. We also meet many minor oddball characters along the way, all pursuing their own interests. While this is a lengthy book, it was easy to read and I often found myself laughing out loud. Carl Hiaasen has a passionate devotion to his beloved Florida and a righteous anger towards those who refuse to acknowledge the value and importance of the fragile ecosystem that sustains it. Joe Winder is the alter ego through whom Mr. Hiaasen can play out his quest for justice and retribution against those who continue to destroy the beauty of the land. I must admit, there are a few scenes that are not for the weak of heart or stomach, and I found myself quickly skimming over them. But I appreciate the author's ability not only to make us laugh, but also to make us think and appeal to our collective conscience about what is happening to our planet and to us as a people. When Bud, one of the thieves, accidentally ends up walking through the nursery of a hospital, he looks at the cooing parents and wonders why people are still having children when the world is in such a mess: More victims, thought Bud Schwartz. Bud then imagines the babies' futures: They would grow up to have automobiles and houses and apartments that would all, eventually, be burglarized by lowlifes such as himself. It is apparent that the author is wearing his heart on his sleeve in this passage as both optimist and cynic. As hope springs forth by the dawning of new life, it bumps up against the reality of our damaged and fractured world. But with Hiaasen leading the charge, there will always be a few laughs to help us along the way. This is a new paperback edition of Native Tongue, which was originally published in 1991. It is a fun and enjoyable read. And, alas, the theme of environmental devastation is as timely today as it was when it was first written.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the 10th copy of this book I have bought to give as a gift. It is Hiaasen at his best. Great humor! It is for anyone who values America's greatest resource -- the wild open spaces.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having lived in Florida for the longest 7 months of my life (learning to love housekeeper spiders and avoid any non natives like they were aliens from a golf planets bent on driving on beaches until they were bare) I adore Hiaasen. I only wish his characters were real and ready to save the state!
andyray on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my first taste of Carl Hiaasen and I like him. He keeps you going, and of course uses Florida as a background for his prose. Those of us near and native know where he's talking about and we can then join the bizarre characters in the story.
libraryclerk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The mystery part was good and funny
Darrol on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Fun account of the downfall of an amusement park. With connections with the NY mob, small time burglars, environmentalists, phone porn performers. And the doings of Skink (hobo, etc.) and his small support network.
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't know why this ended up in my reading list - musta been on sale or something. It's not a bad story - it has some good parts, but there's a lot of "satire" in it that just missed the mark. And too much "aren't I funny" from the author. He isn't that funny. The story isn't that "biting" or insightful and there's WAY too much time spent harping on about environmental destruction... I got the point by the halfway mark...But... it's fast enough reading. Trimming out 50-75 pages would've saved me a lot of skimming over Joe's porn girlfriend (still don't know what the point of her was), Skink's stupid panther shenanigans, and the steroid-head's over-the-topness. I don't think I'll read any more of this author's stuff though... it just isn't as funny as he thinks he is.
madamejeanie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Francis X. Kingsbury is one of the sleaziest multi-millionaires in thestate of Florida. He's got a very murky past and can't speak incomplete sentences if his life depended on it. But he's the proud ownerof a theme park called the Amazing Kingdom, one of the most unsafeplaces on earth And tourists throng there by the thousands, eager topay their money and ride the stupid rides and see the stupid and oftenfake attractions. The Amazing Kingdom is home to the rare speciessection of the park and the proud owners of the last two survivingblue-tongued mango voles on earth. The only problem is that there is nosuch thing as the blue-tongued mango vole. These are just a couple ofgarden variety voles with blue ink regularly applied to their mouths.The government fell for it, though, and Kingsbury received a $200,000grant to further study these rare creatures.All would have been calm, if it hadn't been for the Mothers ofWilderness, a group of gray haired environmentalists led by a spry oldgal named Molly McNamara, who got wind of Kingsbury's plans to destroythe last remaining untouched island in the Florida Keys to put up a hugedevelopment and yet another 18 hole golf course. They decide to teachhim a lesson and hire a couple of inept thugs to steal the voles fromtheir habitat in broad daylight.The cast of characters here are typical Hiaasen -- Joe Winder, theoddball journalist who's life seems temporarily derailed when he takes ajob at the Amazing Kingdom in the press department; Pedro Luz, thechief of security with an acute addiction to steroids, a lousycomplexion, and a serious personality problem; Louie, the hitman fromJersey; Bud and Danny, the completely inept burglars recruited by thepistol packing Molly; and of course one of my favorite recurringcharacters, Skink, the former Florida governor turned swamp rat.
ebooker_ben on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, shows how you can get serious point across using comedy and taking the mickey out of situations.
richardderus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Blue-tongued mango voles. If you've read the book, you've now collapsed on the floor howling in remembered glee. If you haven't read the book before, well, it's time now.Mix Hiaasen's trademark hapless idiot criminals, burnt-out losers, small-minded grifters, and slimy real estate developers, add a cut-rate theme park, shake with a dose of environmentalist headline-grabbing, and *poof* you have the kind of book that makes summer beach reading so much fun.What can I add that will make a difference? Book's been out 20 years and there's already a gabloozel and six reviews, so pick it up! Really, there is so much fun to be had in Hiaasenland it's a shame to miss out. He writes very well-built sentences, he creates recognizable characters, and he has a flensing knife of an eye for human nature. If you haven't, please do; if you have, but weren't amused, please try this one; if you have and rolled around laughing, well, we're soul mates. Will you marry me?
Jaylabelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As usual Hiaasen is attacking the South Floridian powers that be in his hysterically satirical, environmentally-edged way... Why would someone kidnap cute blue-tongued mango voles? Do blue-tongued mango voles actually even exist? Have fun finding out...
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Amazing books, carl!
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SusyBeast More than 1 year ago
A fun adventure with a crazy cast of characters. Hiaasen is a hoot as always!
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